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Sometimes being a firefighter is more than extinguishing flames.

In a report from Today, Arizona fireman Russell Whaley and his crew were responding to a two-car crash involving a mom and her two children when Whaley noticed that the 4-year-old boy was starting to get nervous seeing his mom and sister hurt.

“My son started getting worried and scared,” said Shana Pacheco, who’s 2-year old daughter was also receiving treatment. “He was nervous seeing me with an oxygen mask and all this stuff on me.”

What Whaley decided to do next is the sign of a true American hero:


“He was wearing a Ninja Turtles T-shirt, so we started talking about that,” the firefighter told TODAY. “And the next thing I know, we have a book in front of us and he’s sitting on my lap and we’re reading a book on the side of the freeway.”

After everyone was tended to and Pacheco’s husband came to take them home, she posted a thank you message on Facebook to remind people of the good that still exists in this world:

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Kudos to the Chandler Fire Department and Russell Whaley for a heartwarming response that makes us proud to be Americans!